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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Return of the Feminine?

Some of my friends and I have noticed a fashion design change, which is huge. A few years ago, one could not find skirts or dresses in many of the high-street shops. A few names carried them, but if one wanted, for example, a particular colored dress or skirt, shopping became a real chore. Many of us trad women have shopped at second-hand stores for years, as that is where we could find quality dresses and skirts from days past.

This has changed. Daily, I now see ladies and girls in dresses and skirts and blouses. I am happy. The problem is that this trend has not hit two types of females: women over 60, and young women who are not peaceful with being feminine.

The older ones are either still in rebellion and feminists, like Ms. Clinton, or they are cold. However, when temperatures hit 91 Fahrenheit, one would think the second argument falls flat.

Other reasons create a problem which is more serious and connected to several factors. The first is the push to be "sporty"; many young women in their twenties wear sports clothes all the time. I see this in London. The clothes, which are not inexpensive, are either too tight, or too baggy. I think the shirts with sports logos and team names create the worst eye-sores. Why a beautiful young woman of twenty-something would walk through Portobello Market with a Manchester United shirt on is beyond me. Why a young woman of twenty-something would wear tight bicycling pants for shopping is strange.

There is a lack of appropriateness in dressing. We dressed for occasions, including shopping. Now, I know some ladies hate the thought of changing before going out, but that is how I grew up. You changed for shopping, going to the doctor, going to church, and visiting.

As I wore a uniform from age 6 until 18 and was a day-student, I changed for dinner, as did my brothers.

So, "sporty" falls under inappropriateness. If one goes to a baseball game or soccer game, by all means dress in fan colors. Why not? Why not a skirt and blouse in red and white or whatever? Cute.

Secondly, there are many women who hate the fact that they have fat legs, less than perfect hips, and curly hair. Whatever the problem as perceived, because they do not look like Barbie, or the latest famous actress or singer, they will not wear dresses or skirts. This is a serious problem. Their mums are probably wearing pants, trousers, slacks, whatever you call them all the time as they lack confidence is just being a woman.

Thirdly, the evil in the world stresses androgyny. Androgyny denies gender differences, and see my post  on the EU wanting countries to pass a law which states that gender differences are created by a culture. This attitude denies God as Creator of male and female and allows for all types of sexual deviance.

Fourthly, Catholic mums have failed to pass on femininity to their daughters. I could write a book on this fact alone. Eating habits, how one walks, appropriate tone of voice, etc. have not been seen as disciplines. The worst to me is raucous, loud laughter. A woman of God must be feminine. If a woman starts talking to me about being a committed Christian on the street, and is wearing blue jeans and a sweat shirt, I would like to speak with her about being a Christian woman.

Lastly, if we are to evangelize the world, we must not give in to modern culture regarding dress. Modesty and appropriateness must accompany a interior disposition to put on the Mind of Christ. If there is a disjoint, I am concerned. The physical and the spiritual are one. If there is a split in the personality, there is a character defect. Self-hatred is sinful as well as a psychological problem. This is connected to the second problem of women not accepting who they are and how God made them.

Catholic women need to look and act like women.

As a postscript, there are some readers who do not understand what a blog or a post is. I always give my sources if those ideas are not my own. Otherwise, one can be assured these are my own. However, my ideas are based on tradition, the Teaching Magisterium, or years of Catholic wisdom in the Catholic culture. Also, I try to write in truth. I find that many women who get angry about being feminine and who want to wear trousers or jeans, just do not understand what I am saying about the evils of androgyny. I hope all readers pause and think, and not merely have knee-jerk reactions.


Nescio Quid said...

Why do you have a problem with jeans? It strikes me as old-fashioned.

Supertradmum said...

Padre Pio would not hear any woman's confession if she was wearing trousers. Jeans and pants, as we say in the States, show the outline of the bottom and the legs, especially if tight and this is not appropriate. But, more than that, trousers and jeans are men's clothes and women should not dress like men. We need to fight androgyny.

Nescio Quid said...

STM even the saints have their quirks, and are human after all. Padre Pio was born in 1887! In those days even the sight of woman's ankle was considered unseemly.

There are jeans, and then there are jeans... Some jeans are perfectly respectable, others not... in my humble opinion. Trousers too, many are fine, and can even be more decent than skirts. In several cultures, traditionally, a trouser like bottom is coupled with a long tunic. Very modest. I can't help but feel that femininity has much more to do with behaviour (though not exclusively of course).

Supertradmum said...

We shall agree to disagree. Women do not realize they act more masculine in pants and that jeans are immodest. But, the biggest reason is the blurring of gender.

Ramona said...

I'd like to add in that making a change for an increase in modesty doesn't mean you have to agree or understand what exactly modest is before making a change . Ask yourself, can I imagine the Blessed Virgin Mary wearing this? If that thought makes you squirm, then your clothing is probably not modest. When ditching pants completely for myself and my daughters to try this long-skirt thing out 3 or 4 years ago we very soon saw the blessings and grace flow down (and compliments too!) People respond to you differently when you look more like a lady. It was only months after making a change that my own view shifted as to what I thought was modest. I agree 100% with STM, jeans and pants of any kind on women are immodest when they show the derriere. However, I have noticed on others how loose flowing pants can be coupled with a long tunic and still look very modest and feminine, it's just must trickier to accomplish, so generally why bother. Skirts are just easier and usually much prettier, and I will guarantee people will start commenting on how nice you dress for anyone who has the guts to try it out.

I refer to myself as being grace greedy....if there is grace to be had by changing my behaviour in some way then why not try it out? This isn't that hard to do. This was one area where in my own spiritual life I saw a dramatic increase in grace and would heartily encourage more women to try it out, you will grow in grace because of it.

Supertradmum said...

Ramona, what a beautiful comment. I had a similar experience. I was not convinced and only changed because of Dear St. Padre Pio. Then, I had a short (weeks) relapse to jeans. I felt horrible and realized that being female meant skirts and dresses. I can post some of the skirts and trouser combos, but they are not my type of thing, being a bit too exotic. Thanks for the support. I am trying to help the younger ones, in their twenties in the Church, who hardly ever wear skirts or dresses, get with the new trend.

Supertradmum said...

Ramona, ps. I call myself the "grace-pig"

Emily said...

I am not a feminist in politics or religion, but I love to wear jeans. There are jeans and there are jeans. In the Midwest, it gets cold. Skirts are not appropriate when it is 10 degrees and I have to dig my car out from a snow drift. I'm going to be wearing warm pants and snowboots. I don't see why a person wearing jeans and a sweatshirt isn't a Catholic woman!
I do not believe in sloppy dress. But when I go to hockey games, I wear jeans and a sweatshirt. Arenas are NOT a place to wear a skirt. Have you seen the way you have to sit? How close you are sitting? Skirts would be ruined and definitely not appropriate, modest wear!
I am 5'3". Long skirts make me look like I'm playing dress up in mummy's clothes.
As I write this, I am wearing a dress. I love dresses and skirts. However, it is hard to find appropriate dresses and skirts for casual occasions or weekends. I'm not going to wear my $100 work dresses to the grocery. I wear these to work and to Mass. Jeans are much more convenient, and yes, if you wear the proper style, the are modest and appropriate casual wear. I would much prefer seeing jeans on the weekends then supershort, tight skirts!

Supertradmum said...

Emily, I grew up in Iowa and have lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Alaska. I have worn skirts in Calgary when it was 50 below and that was not the wind chill. I wore pants my dresses and changed out of those when I got to work.

Women for thousands of years have not worn jeans. We managed.

It is a question of being a woman. It is a question of acting differently than men. It is about not being sexy and all men say that jeans are sexy.

We must go back to who we are as women and we should not look like men. Second hand stores are great for dresses and skirts. In fact, I have found almost all my clothes that way and I can assure you that grace accompanies the change.

Supertradmum said...

One of my readers reminded me of this document: A PAPAL DECREE CONCERNING MODESTY
12 January 1930, which you can find here--

New Sister said...

I'm all for no trousers. I have a friend in London, a real couturier, and atheist, who opposes women wearing trousers. (I learned this of her some 12 years ago, before my Conversion to the Catholic Faith.) Her opinion didn't offend me; I just happened to disagree and chose to ignore it, as I continued to wear, and find stylish, Ann Taylor looking business outfits, rarely skirts. The more Catholic I become however, the more I've lost taste for trousers. I now own a closet full of designer, tailored stuff that I don't want anymore. Don't even like them. I don't think Our Lady likes them either. I should have noted up front: I'm a military officer and of course wear trousers when required by certain uniforms or circumstances (e.g., Afghanistan), and wear the skirt opion when feesible.
Anyway... when my friend Valerie opposed my wearing trousers, it never crossed my mind to take offense or think her "old-fashioned" - some couturier she would be if that were the case ha! :-)

New Sister said...

Emily, I have always been partial to jeans, too. But now I can but rarely wear them - around my family perhaps, gardening, or as you stated, perhaps to a hockey game. After this flurey of posts though, I am going to re-evaluate. There is nothing wrong with wearing skirts to sporting events, and I've found a lot of places to buy sportier looking skirts (love 'em in summer) and great shoes. High-tech fabrics today make skirts/dresses a joy -- they can totally work clomping up and down bleachers.

And here is another reason why we should avoid trousers: MEN. They are far happier when we women are in skirts - it raises them up, brings out their best. And again, I'm a career military officer and around LOTS of men (*awesome* men -US Soldiers, Marines - hurah!). I've come to know them well over my 20+ years at this job.

New Sister said...

Ramona - "grace greedy"? Love it!!

MissJean said...

Men also used to wear robes all the time, and yet pants eventually became proper clothing for them, though they were initially considered immodest and feminine. (e.g. The Greeks thought the Persians were feminine because they wore pants.) I agree that women should be modest and wear women's clothing, but pants have already become women's clothing, and wide-leg pants are pretty darn modest.

Supertradmum said...

MissJean, The problem is that Catholic women have lost their feminine identity. Androgyny is a serious problem and leads to lesbianism and homosexuality. Gender differences are key to maintaining natural law and traditional marriage.

I suggest you pray to Padre Pio. He has very strong feelings on this matter and would not hear confessions of a woman in pants. This is documented.